Happy New Year! Here we are again folks, at the start of a new season full of promise after reasonable and good displays (if you ignore the scores) in pre-season matches against ‘Premiership’ opposition......
The first outing of the season finds our heroes on a Friday evening trip down the M1 and they, like me, must be hoping for a much better performance than the debacle back in February. I think that will happen and here’s how: keep the ball in hand, don’t kick it away, get the ball to the backs and keep the penalty count down. Why will this work? In a first half full of commitment against Wasps, we were able to compete when we had the ball. Actually, we competed when the opposition had the ball in hand too as our defence looked solid with new signing Burdon, playing at inside centre, tackling hard, matched by Burrows who dispensed with the opposition like a man swatting flies. But let’s not waste energy by having to tackle when we aimlessly kick the ball to the opposition which puts us on the back foot with no one seeming to want to do anything more than watch the ball’s trajectory. Will Wilson start? I hope so as he and Jamel Chisholm (who may have a lot to learn but shows great potential) could both give Usain Bolt a run for his money. However, if Wilson is packed off to Wharfedale, there are plenty of opportunities on the wing. Whoever plays in those positions will be backed up by an increasingly influential McColl. I think we’ve a potential lethal strike force building here – assuming they are provided with the ammunition they need.
Although we have a small squad there seems to be cover across the park. But with one exception - outside half. Let’s hope Ford becomes super-confident (not over) and stays fit or we could be checking the T&Cs to see if a certain new executive chairman can dust off his boots.
The penalty count goes without saying – it must be non-existent or kept low. You can win or lose a game base based on the discipline of the team or an individual – and we’ve all seen what happens all too often when one or more players get it wrong.
As first games of the seasons go, Nottingham away could be worse. But with the unknowns of Jersey to come, a lengthy trip down to Plymouth followed by the two ‘big boys’ of Bristol and Newcastle and only a top four place needed for the play-offs, it’s important to get off to a good and confident start with a win. With what I saw at HC a little while ago, I think the 2012/13 campaign will open with that win and we’ll have high hopes for the season. And, if at any time, over the next eight or nine months things go awry just remember that ant.
Good write up Gel.From the performance against Wasps I would say we are in with a good chance on Friday.Do we kick off with the new rules...No9 has 5 secs to shift the ball? I think this will suit our game more?? I hope that we grow and develop over the season and that the young talent coming through find their spurs very quickly.I don't 'quite' go along with the angle on kicking.I can see where you are coming from if we aimlessly plonk it down the middle. Wasps put us under continuous pressure with some extremely accutate long range kicking which I was very impressed with...and it saped up a lot of our energy in defence....and I thought joe's positional play had definitely improved...just need to make sure we reliably find touch.I think we have a back line that looks as though it could impress this season...and they cant do that without the ball!I think like most things on the pitch its often about timing and balance and avoiding silly ball handling mistakes.I dont want to sound negative but there are still some areas that need attention. Thinking of Henson's suspected fractured cheek bone...pre-season...(?) it worries me that we make lack depth in critical positions and can we maintain a quality squad through to the play offs? I was also a bit worried about the strength of the Wasps scrum...we need to see a bit more dynamic power when attacking their line...we too ofted look as though we are banging our heads against a brick wall and failed to take sufficient advantage.....the rolling maul is a powerful weapon...and we have got to get it right....also the set piece has got to hold up a bit better...or the penalties will surely come? Biggsie seems to be doing well these days...I was always impressed with his incredible bursts of speed, his balance through the tackle and the amazing angles that would shred oppositions...love to see some more of that this season?.... and 'just one more thing' as they say...we need to see fast, close offloads...really strong support play so that the whole back line are working togethor at speed...Wasps were sharper in this respect but you could clearly see the potential of this new Leeds squad coming through. Also worth remembering from last year...our bonus points were rubbish and I seem to remember...cost us several places and points in the play offs? We need to start games 'on time' with a strong attacking mentality from the whistle...and we need to aim for bonus points from 'every game'...I want to see more than a win against Nottingham...I really want to see( or hear) a statement!....one that reads well in the Post on Monday...that pulls new fans through the turnstiles....and one that we can carry forward to Bristol and Falcons in a few weeks time?
Yeah, in retrospact,................................it did come over as a bit of an 'unbroken'tract...........but not to worry....it made sense at the time!!!!...........dots is pauses...................dots is ok. I think I can live with them!...................but......... any thoughts on rugby?
Date Joined: Dec, 2006
Location: Under the cosh
Re: We've got high hopes
Selby Kev Yeah, in retrospact,................................it did come over as a bit of an 'unbroken'tract...........but not to worry....it made sense at the time!!!!...........dots is pauses...................dots is ok. I think I can live with them!...................but......... any thoughts on rugby?
I've not seen either of the pre-season games, and pre-season publicity of the new season has been low-key to say the least.
We've had probably one of the biggest post-season clear-outs in the club's history, and once more are looking to build a side together from the season's start. Despite the relative youth of the side though there is a lot of experience there which is one of the major benefits of the academy. I don't think that the coaches are naive enough not to have tackled the inadequacies of our game so in many ways I'm cautiously optimistic that we could challenge for the top four. My major concerns are the small size of the squad and the lack of cover in key positions, but no doubt the 'Cheshire Cavalry' will come to our assistance again.
In all, I believe that we will see another season of consolidation at HC, and getting to the play-offs will be the bonus.It would have been nice to get an official statement from the club regarding our future, but we all have eyes and can draw our own conclusions on that one. Lets hope that the appointment of Geech (has anybody heard anything about HIS activities?) can kickstart our presence in Yorkshire. God knows it's needed.
As you say Mark.....that is the main worry for me.....depth of cover in key positions. I am sure it will be a bruising season....and I just hope we don't end up too 'exposed' in the run up to the play offs....and that your cavalry materialises if needs be? Time will tell. there was definite progress between Falcons and Wasps...enough to make me optimistic for Friday.If we get through the early hoops great....but facing up to Bristol and Falcons again in a few weeks will be the real measure. One step at a time I suppose....and bl**dy bonus points please!
IMHO the only Sale player to consistently jump the queue last season was Will Cliff. I didn't see any other Leeds player ousted who was consistently better than his Sale counterpart. And I'd still say that Tommy Bell was probably the find of the season in anybody's book. A shame he moved on after scooping as many end-of-season awards as he did.
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